Sharapova overpowers Errani to win French Open

Posted at 3:21 PM, Jun 09, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-09 17:21:00-04

(CNN) — Maria Sharapova overpowered Sara Errani to win the French Open final at Roland Garros for the first time and complete a career grand slam.

The 2012 tournament’s surprise package, Italian Errani never came up with an answer to Sharapova’s strategy of power and unerring ball placement as the Russian romped to a 6-3 6-3 victory.

As Sharapova motored into a 4-0 lead in the opening set the final looked as it might be over in the blink of an eye, but Errani got her toe in the match by breaking Sharapova’s serve to win the fifth game.

Errani, who is ranked 23rd in the world, showed plenty of grit to save two set points in the eighth game, but when a third set point came up in the following game Sharapova ruthlessly converted.

Italy’s Errani refused to capitulate in the second set, but was never able to threaten the Russian’s dominance.

As well as strength, Sharapova’s quickness of feet was a feature of an impressive performance, notably when she sprinted to reach an Errani drop shot, winning the point to take a 4-1 lead.

Errani saved two match points in a game that the Italian produced a couple of the deftest drop shots you could wish for, but the Italian’s resistance was finally ended when the Russian converted her third championship point.

It was the 25-year-old Russian’s first grand slam title since she won the Australian Open in 2008.

Since then Sharapova’s career has been hampered by serious shoulder injuries that forced her into a long rehab, but her winning form at Roland Garros will also see the Russian move above Belorussian Victoria Azarenka to take the No. 1 ranking slot on Monday.

Saturday’s victory ensured Sharapova became just the 10th female player to complete a career grand slam to emulate the the likes of greats such as Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert and Serena Williams

If Errani’s impressive performances at Roland Garros – featuring wins over two former champions and two members of the top 10 – might not have had a fairytale ending, those rankings will provide some consolation for the Italian as she enters the top 10 for the first time.

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